Tag Archives: Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal, Article 370 and a Blind Alley

(Photo Courtesy : http://www.newslaundry.com)

He came, he saw and he concurred

– Caption of a RK Laxman cartoon in early 90 s


AAP’s stand on article 370 has confused and disheartened many.

For its workers the party has opened itself to attacks by its adversaries because of its support to stripping of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir and thus weakening its own plank for full statehood for Delhi which was its key slogan during the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign.

A section of its fellow-travelers who had high hopes of the experiment, activists/scholars – who were rather enthused with its ‘participatory’ approach – also feel betrayed or disheartened now.

It is a different matter that not many have made their displeasure known.

May be it is a sign of their increasing fatigue or possible cynicism with politics in general, they have preferred to share their frustrations at private levels only. Continue reading Arvind Kejriwal, Article 370 and a Blind Alley

Nationalism and Politics – An Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal

I write this open letter to you as a well wisher, and someone who has been seriously supportive of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through all the ups and downs in the years since its formation.  Perhaps like many others, I too have high expectations of the experiment that AAP is and the new ground it has tried to break in terms of providing a government that has steadfastly kept the interests of the common person in mind while taking decisions.

But I also write this letter because I, like many others, have been perturbed by some developments which do not augur well for the future either of your party or of the country. The latter in any case, is set on a disastrous course, thanks to the current dispensation at the Centre. Let me also make it clear right away that I am not one of those who criticize AAP for ‘lacking a clear ideology’ and I in fact value the fact that on many critical issues, AAP has been able to resist the pressure to step into well trodden, familiar responses to specific situations and issues – especially well trodden among Leftists. But I do think that AAP needs to think a bit more seriously  about politics – which is not the same thing as ideology.

Continue reading Nationalism and Politics – An Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal

Rainbow Social Coalition – To What End ?

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USS passe rani hai, iss passe Gandhi!
(“On that side is the Queen, on this is Gandhi)

Nawan Punjab Party’s candidate ex MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi’s election campaign and the way he projected his appeal as ‘battle against the royals’ had rightly evoked interest in a section of the media as well as pro-people circles.(https://www.newsclick.in/electoral-mobilisation-vehicle-rainbow-social-coalition)

It is of interest to know that in this era of money and muscle power politics the campaign was largely run on support generated by people. What is also notable (-do-) that the campaign was successful in building a social coalition – cutting across various fissures in our society – and could challenge “populist fascism of the Bharatiya Janata Party, patronage-based populism of the Congress, and a fractious identity politics of SAD which cannot see beyond its narrow aims. “. Continue reading Rainbow Social Coalition – To What End ?

The Elephant in the Room – Silence on Class Issues in Indian Politics : Sanjay Kumar

Guest Post by SANJAY KUMAR

Ramesh has been working as a daily wager in a Government of India office in Delhi for ten years. He is one of the army of peons, office assistants, security guards, gardeners, and cleaning staff which government offices, city municipalities, hospitals, schools and colleges of the metropolis employ regularly. He is a graduate, but gets the wage of an unskilled worker. He is among the fortunate ones who at least get government mandated minimum wage. Most private employers in the city violate the minimum wage act; either they pay less than the mandated amount, or make daily wagers work more than eight hours without any overtime.

Ramesh was pleasantly surprised this April when he noted a more than 30% increase in his wages. His daily wage that stood at Rs 360/ earlier was now Rs 513/. This was due to a Government of Delhi notification issued on 3rd March, 2017. The news was covered in the inner pages of some newspapers. Most TV news channels ignored it. Hence, it is not surprising that employees like Ramesh who are not associated with any organsiation of workers were not aware of this increase. Continue reading The Elephant in the Room – Silence on Class Issues in Indian Politics : Sanjay Kumar

ज़ी न्यूज़ के पापों से घिन आ रही थी, प्रोड्यूसर विश्वदीपक ने दिया इस्तीफ़ा !

ज़ी न्यूज़ के पत्रकार विश्वदीपक ने ज़ी न्यूज़ से इस्तीफ़ा दे दिया. ज़ी न्यूज़ को लिखा उनका ख़त पढ़ने लायक़ है. मीडिया विजिल.कॉम  से साभार. An English translation of this piece is available at Scroll.in.

प्रिय ज़ी न्यूज़,

एक साल 4 महीने और 4 दिन बाद अब वक्त आ गया है कि मैं अब आपसे अलग हो जाऊं. हालांकि ऐसा पहले करना चाहिए था लेकिन अब भी नहीं किया तो खुद को कभी माफ़ नहीं कर सकूंगा.

आगे जो मैं कहने जा रहा हूं वो किसी भावावेश, गुस्से या खीझ का नतीज़ा नहीं है, बल्कि एक सुचिंतित बयान है. मैं पत्रकार होने से साथ-साथ उसी देश का एक नागरिक भी हूं जिसके नाम अंध ‘राष्ट्रवाद’ का ज़हर फैलाया जा रहा है और इस देश को गृहयुद्ध की तरफ धकेला जा रहा है. मेरा नागरिक दायित्व और पेशेवर जिम्मेदारी कहती है कि मैं इस ज़हर को फैलने से रोकूं. मैं जानता हूं कि मेरी कोशिश नाव के सहारे समुद्र पार करने जैसी है लेकिन फिर भी मैं शुरुआत करना चहता हूं. इसी सोच के तहत JNUSU अध्यक्ष कन्हैया कुमार के बहाने शुरू किए गए अंध राष्ट्रवादी अभियान और उसे बढ़ाने में हमारी भूमिका के विरोध में मैं अपने पद से इस्तीफा देता हूं. मैं चाहता हूं इसे बिना किसी वैयक्तिक द्वेष के स्वीकार किया जाए.

असल में बात व्यक्तिगत है भी नहीं. बात पेशेवर जिम्मेदारी की है. सामाजिक दायित्वबोध की है और आखिर में देशप्रेम की भी है. मुझे अफसोस के साथ कहना पड़ रहा है कि इन तीनों पैमानों पर एक संस्थान के तौर पर तुम तुमसे जुड़े होने के नाते एक पत्रकार के तौर पर मैं पिछले एक साल में कई बार फेल हुए.

मई 2014 के बाद से जब से श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी भारत के प्रधानमंत्री बने हैं, तब से कमोबेश देश के हर न्यूज़ रूम का सांप्रदायीकरण (Communalization) हुआ है लेकिन हमारे यहां स्थितियां और भी भयावह हैं. माफी चाहता हूं इस भारी भरकम शब्द के इस्तेमाल के लिए लेकिन इसके अलावा कोई और दूसरा शब्द नहीं है. आखिर ऐसा क्यों होता है कि ख़बरों को मोदी एंगल से जोड़कर लिखवाया जाता है ? ये सोचकर खबरें लिखवाई जाती हैं कि इससे मोदी सरकार के एजेंडे को कितना गति मिलेगी ?

Continue reading ज़ी न्यूज़ के पापों से घिन आ रही थी, प्रोड्यूसर विश्वदीपक ने दिया इस्तीफ़ा !

Evening out the Odds, Learning from the BRT Fiasco

The Chief Minister of Delhi has come out with a very practical idea, an Idea, whose time has come as the American would say. Anyone who says that Delhi’s air is a killer is only putting it mildly. The number of those dying of respiratory ailments on a daily basis stands today at 23, this translates to 161 per week, 644 per month and 7728 per year. The figures were half this 4 years ago.

Even if pollution levels do not worsen in future the cumulative effects of exposure to these high levels of pollution will keep pushing up the death rate and increasingly it will be the kids born today who will grow into wheezing asthmatics, inhaling this deadly cocktail of pollutants increasingly becoming unfit, as they grow, for doing anything that calls for even mild exertions. The resultant costs on medical expenses incurred by their families, in the face of the rapid withdrawal of government spend on public health will assume the shape of a horror movie gone real and it can only get worse unless something is done and done fast. Read the full article, published in Catch News, here

The Indiscreet charm of Narendra Modi: Joyojeet Pal

Guest post by Joyojeet Pal

Why the Silicon Valley (Generally) Loves Narendra Modi

“Indians are the most prosperous group in the United States of America,” said comedian Rajiv Satyal, the compère of the Narendra Modi speech at the San Jose Arena in the Silicon Valley on Sept. 27. No flash of Gandhian embarrassment stood in the way of the booming cheer that followed. Later on when repeated technical bungling (ironic next to the tech bombast of the setting) led the compère to step back on stage, he kept repeating this idea alongside “Bharat Mata ki Jai!” to keep the ardor up among the 17,000-strong crowd. There appeared to be a few thousand more outside, either supporting or protesting the event. Several U.S. legislators were present, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Continue reading The Indiscreet charm of Narendra Modi: Joyojeet Pal